1st American Woman in Space
Who was Sally Ride?
Sally Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. In 1983 she became the first American woman in space when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger. She also became the youngest American astronaut in space at the age of 32, a record she still holds today. Sally Ride was also the only person to participate on both committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.
In 2011 Sally Ride was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died just seventeen months later. In 2013 President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Sally Ride has a relatively close family connection to the actor Steve McQueen through their shared ancestors of Thomas McQueen and his wife Sarah Vaughn. Sally Ride also appears to have royal ancestry. The late William Reitwiesner claimed that Sally Ride was a descendant of Joseph Richardson and Elizabeth Bevan. Mr. Reitwiesner shared Joseph Richardson's parents Samuel and Eleanor Richardson as common ancestors with Ms. Ride. Unfortunately Mr. Reitwiesner did not give any evidence to support this claim which is why it is marked as “probable” in the Famous Kin charts. It is through Elizabeth Bevan that Sally Ride can claim royal ancestry.
Mary Dugan is the probable 5th great-grandmother of Sally Ride. Some of Mary Dugan's descendants have claimed that Mary is the daughter of Jeremiah Dungan and Deborah Drake. This appears to be false as Mary Dungan is said to have married Abraham Vanhorn and not Joseph Richardson. Mary was Abraham's first wife and died before him as he remarried after her death to Mary Van Sciver.
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